Latitudinal and longitudinal barriers in global biogeography
Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
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Keywords: bats; biogeography; Gondwanaland; gymnosperms
Due to changes in climate and continental arrangement, plant and animal assemblages faced different dispersal barriers at different moments in Earth's history. It is generally accepted that groups which diversified during times of Gondwanan-Laurasian separation show different distribution patterns from those of more recent origin. Here I present principal component-derived maps for two globally distributed groups, with ca 1000 species each. Gymnosperm assemblages perfectly illustrate the existence of southern and northern components, corresponding to the Gondwanan and Laurasian temperate floras at the time when angiosperms started becoming dominant in the tropics, thus imposing a latitudinal barrier. Bat (chiropteran) assemblages indicate that the major biogeographical barrier in their Cenozoic dispersal was the longitudinal separation between the Old and New World.
Biology Letters Volume 2, Number 1 / 22 March 2006 pp 69–72.